Spring Semester 2001. English 12 - 160
Studies in Chaucer
MWF 11am
Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)

This course introduces some of Chaucer's writings. All the lectures, class presentations, discussions, and reports will be in English.

Week 1 (Introductory class Friday March 2)
March 5-10 Week 2 The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (Text with notes) (Hear it being read) (General Introduction) (Extracts in modernized spelling) (Edwin Duncan's online text with pop-up translations and notes for Netscape / Explorer) (No class on Friday -- Mass)
March 12-17 Week 3 (continued)
March 19-24 Week 4  The Knight's Tale (Full text) (Abbreviated text)
March 26-31 Week 5   (continued)
April 2-7 Week 6  The Miller's Tale  (Text) (General Introduction)
April 9-14 Week 7 (continued) (no class Good Friday)

April 16-21 Week 8  Mid-term Exams

April 23-28 Week 9 The Nun's Priest's Tale (Text) (Article) (General Introduction)
April 30-May 5 Week 10 (continued)
May 7-12 Week 11  The Wife of Bath :  Prologue and Tale (General Introduction)
May 14-19 Week 12 (continued) (no class Friday)
May 21-26 Week 13 The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue and Tale (General Introduction)
May 28-June2 Week 14 (continued)
June 4-10 Week 15 Conclusions

June 11-16 Final Exams

Teaching Method

Lectures 60%, small-group discussion 30%, class presentations 10%.


Texts for all but the Knight's Tale will be found in the Norton Anthology of English Literature Part 1. The Knight's Tale can be printed out using the link above. In addition, Brother Anthony's Literature in English Society Part 1: The Middle Ages (Sogang University Press) will be helpful. Students are strongly encouraged to read most of Brother Anthony's book during the winter vacation, in preparation, especially the chapter dealing with Chaucer in his European context (pages 115 - 154). Parts of Brother Anthony's Home Page may  be of help: especially one with an introduction to Chaucer(including the Canterbury Tales) and one with a variety of materials about some other medieval texts. Any student really interested will also explore the resources listed on his Medieval Resources page.

Major Topics

* The social and individual (moral) aspects of the portraits in the General Prologue. The ways in which the narrator influences (and does not influence) our responses to the various pilgrims.
* The influence of Boethius (Consolation of Philosophy) and the question of destiny and human freedom in the Knight's Tale. The way in which the pre-Christian setting affects our reading.
* The contrast between the idealized love of the Knight's Tale and the frankly physical passion of the Miller's Tale.
* The confusing rhetoric of the Nun's Priest's Tale and the question of how an audience is helped to find the 'moral' of a story.
* The anti-feminist attitude to women expressed in (or challenged in) the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale  compared to the role of Alison in the Miller's Tale.
* The relationship between the Christian message and the people working in and for the Church in the General Prologue and the Pardoner's Prologue / Tale


Each student will prepare a Research File with pictures and (handwritten) text about the society and culture of England in the 14th century ("Backgrounds to Chaucer") for submission in the 12th week of semester. In addition, for the Midterm Exam, each student will write a report about the contrast between the Knight's Tale and the Miller's Tale (due on the Monday after the exams). Students who will be away on teaching practice should write a report about the main themes of the Knight's Tale and submit it before they leave.

Each student will prepare a final report of some length (due on the Monday after the exams), discussing the main themes of three of the Tales we study, treating each Tale separately before a final section comparing the three.


In addition to the above assignments, there will be a midterm and a final examination. Each exam and report will be of equal importance, the Scrapbook will be equal to 50% of a report..